Simple Sales Tracking Blog

New report and charts added

New Sales Tracking Charts

The first in a series of new reports and charts we’re developing is now ready for your review.

The first of those is a new manager-only report named Team Member Activity. The goal of this report is to give you insight into the same kind of information that each of your team members view on their own Start Pages – including New, Won and Lost Opportunities, Current and Overdue Tasks and Current Appointments – filtered by date range. By default, when you run the report it will show you all the information created or due for the current week. Sorry, if you’re not an Admin or Manager on your team, you won’t have access to this report.

In addition to the new report is a new charting series which enables you to graphically display your sales, grouped by your custom fields. So, for example – if you have a custom field for Industry, you can see all your Leads, Opportunities and Accounts per industry in a nice bar chart. The charts can be interacted with as well as exported as a downloadable image.

Just like the reports, you can access the new charts from the Reports tab.

Filed under: New Features, , , , ,

Easily switch between company or group accounts



We had some great feedback on the new reports for the Report Center as well as suggestions for new ones. If you missed our last email, please consider sending us your feedback – it’s not too late yet.

Along with the handful of design changes this week, you may have noticed a new menu option named “Link to Account…”. This is something that’s been on the requested list for a while and we’re excited to get it into production. Note – this setup option is visible only to those with Admin level access, however accounts can be linked for those with any level of access.

There are 2 reasons why you might like to take a closer look at this new capability:

  1. You have more than a dozen users who work in separate divisions.
  2. You use Simple Sales Tracking for more than one company.

With the ability to switch between accounts, you can jump from one company (or division) to another without having to logout, then back in again. If you want to organize your sales people into teams and restrict access so that each member has access and visibility only to those in their team, then linking accounts is a perfect solution.

Filed under: New Features, , , , , ,

Tell us what you’d like to see in the new Report Center


We’ve got a couple of new developers on board working out the final parts of a new API and Outlook plugin (we’ve had some delays – but it’s finally coming together now). Once they’re finished, we’re going to be starting on a new Report Center within Simple Sales Tracking – which will include new Reports and Charts/Graphs.

If you click on either report thumbnail above, you’ll see the sample report drafts that we’re looking to introduce. I’d really appreciate your feedback on those and any other ideas that you would find helpful from both a sales manager and team members perspective.

A handful of new fields will need to be added to support concepts like targets/budgets, so if your report idea includes information that’s not currently captured in SST – include it anyways.

You may have noticed the new filter boxes on the list pages. Over the next while another one of our developers is working to improve / streamline some of the UI. No big changes – just some refinements. If you have any questions about any of them – don’t hesitate to ask.

Filed under: New Features, , , ,

How many sales are you losing through poor Sales Process?

“To train or not to train?” – that is the question

Many businesses spend thousands of dollars on marketing and advertising to generate inquiries and yet spend nothing on training their salespeople to convert these same inquiries into sales.

A common misconception is that if the salesperson has great product knowledge they can make the sale. These types of salespeople rely on what we term “show and tell” selling which leads to price focused buyers rather than needs based selling.

Many sales are lost as a result of poor or even non-existent sales processes. The analogy I often use is when baking a cake you follow a recipe and if you do you get the same result each time. When you decide to change the recipe and say use less baking powder you may still get something that is edible but not the best result.

Well it is the same with many salespeople who have never had any formal sales training – they may have a recipe/process they are following but some of the key ingredients may be missing, resulting in missed sales which invariably leads to increased cost of sales not to mention lost sales revenue.

When you consider the cost of making a sales call can be from $90 to $500 depending on type of call and then take into account the lost opportunity costs it often comes down to leaving sales to chance.

I meet many businesses who would gain immediate sales from sales systems but will delay sometimes up to 12 months before starting.

The great thing about sales training is that it is entirely measurable and the return on investment can be seen almost immediately.

The cost of missed sales can be huge even for small businesses. An example might be a business where an average client may spend $200 per month over 12 months – this adds up to $2400 p.a. If the average client stays loyal to this business for 5 years then the average lifetime value is $12,000.

Now if our untrained salesperson is fumbling one sale per week over 46 weeks this amounts to $552,000 in lost business and over 5 years this could come to $2,760,000 and remember this is per salesperson.

Quote:

From Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Company, who once was asked by a wholesaler why he invested so much in training his people, when ultimately they might leave.

His reply was “what if I didn’t train them, and they stayed?”

Action Steps:

Review your sales processes – do you have systems for:

• Asking for referrals
• Managing new leads
• Identifying potential prospects
• Making appointments using the telephone
• Conducting sales interviews
• Quantifying your prospect’s problem in dollar terms

Hayden Burgess is a Sales Trainer with Sales Impact Group

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, , , ,

Starting 2016 the right way

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and New Year’s break, it’s crazy to think we are already one month into 2016.

With that in mind, I wanted to write about one facet of something that many of us have a challenge with. I’m talking about prospecting and more specifically, referrals.

Let’s start the New Year off prospecting strong with these three tips to get the most out of your referral system.

  1. DON’T OVER-QUALIFY YOUR LEADS
  • Many of us make the mistake of thinking too much about if a prospect is right for us, all we should be asking is – Do they potentially have a need for what we offer? If yes then add them to your suspect list.
  • The same goes for the person referring, if you are making an introduction for a colleague, don’t look too far into it, they know best if they can potentially help the prospect. It is up to them to discover this through good questioning.
  1. WARM/COLD/HOT REFERRALS – KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
  • Cold referral – A colleague has handed a client/prospect one of your business cards and said ‘give them a call if you need….’
    ◦ This is akin to a cold call because there is no trust established, all they know about you is what is on your card – save these for C and D prospects
  • Warm referral – A colleague has mentioned your name to their client/your prospect.
    ◦ Again this is not ideal, your name has been mentioned but there is no next step for them, you can’t start the relationship based on this.
  • Hot referral – Now this is key, your colleague has introduced you to their client/your prospect and let them know that you will be giving them a call.
    ◦ These are ideal as the prospect is expecting your call AND you get a buying signal because if they were totally uninterested in what you have to offer they wouldn’t meet with you in the first place.
  1. BE SPECIFIC
  • Once you have established a list of the prospects you would like to work with, share it! Share it with your colleagues, at referral groups or at networking groups. Be specific about who you are targeting, it makes it much easier for people to refer to you.

Many people we meet through our business say they are too busy to prospect, or the phone doesn’t stop ringing.

However, having a strong prospecting and referral system is key. You will be glad you planned ahead and filled up your pipeline for the long winter months.

Oh, and the best way to get a referral? ….To give one.

So let’s start this New Year off the right way, help each other out, and in time it will come back around to you tenfold

Hayden Burgess is a Sales Trainer with Sales Impact Group

 

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, , ,

Lead Sources as a Drop Down List

 

Earlier today we published the latest release of Simple Sales Tracking. Included in the release are a number of small changes and minor bug fixes.

The most important change has to do with how Lead Sources are managed. In the past, the only option was to type in the Lead Source for your Accounts, Opportunities and Leads on a case-by-case basis. In our latest release, you now have the option of creating a drop down list of lead sources. The list of available Lead Sources are managed by your group administrator, in the Admin area.

From there, Lead Sources can be added, changed or removed entirely. If one is changed, the change flows through to any matching Lead Source marked against an Account, Opportunity or Lead.

If you’d like to continue to type in Lead Sources manually, all you need to do is delete the Lead Sources from the list in the Admin area.

As always, if you have any questions about this or anything else in Simple Sales Tracking – please don’t hesitate to ask.

Filed under: New Features, , ,

Next Release to Simple Sales Tracking Scheduled for Tonight

The next release of Simple Sales Tracking is scheduled for tonight, so we thought we’d give you a quick heads up of what’s on the way. There are a few big improvements and we think you’re really going to like them!

One of the main ones is the introduction of Opportunity Stages to the sales pipeline. Opportunity Stages are fully customizable – so you’ll have better control and flexibility over your sales pipeline.

One big change to the software has to do with how the detail pages for Accounts, Opportunities, Leads and Contacts are layed out. You’ll find all of the same information that was present before, as well as some extra – but presented in a 3 column format. View a sample of an Opportunity Detail page.

As you’ll notice, we’ve put a greater emphasis on Notes – which will now include not only any notes you or other team members write, but also any activity updates that have to do with that record. We’ve also introduced Notes to Contacts, which did not exist previously.

In preparation for our social integration, we’ve added the ability to upload a photo or logo for any Account, Opportunity, Lead or Contact. Once the social integration is complete, you’ll have the option to have Simple Sales Tracking automatically import this information, if it’s available, from popular social sites – like LinkedIn.

Filed under: New Features, , ,

Top Five Easily Avoidable Mistakes of Sales Presentations

We’ve all been there, you walk out of a sales interview that was almost across the line and wonder to yourself, what could I have done differently that would have made for a different outcome.

Luckily as humans most of us learn from our mistakes and with that in mind here are five easily avoidable mistakes of a sales presentation. If you keep these in mind and avoid them you will be well on your way to making more sales and making the most of your selling time.

Not Being Prepared.

This may seem like common sense but many salespeople do very little preparation before a sales interview. The more prepared you are the more confident you will feel walking in the door. Consider what information you need to obtain about your prospect in advance, what industry are they in, who are their competitors, what are the possible challenges they may face?. Good preparation will save you on the day.

Being late

Well this one just rolls on from my previous point, but once again many salespeople make this mistake. They believe their time is more important. But consider this, in the prospects mind if you are five or ten minutes late without an explanation, how does this reflect on the delivery of your product or service?. Plan to be early but if worst comes to worst phone ahead and let them know if you are running behind.

Focusing too much on your product.

This is perhaps more harking back to the old days of selling but it is still very common. We want to go in and spout on about the great things our product or service can do for the prospect, how we can solve all their problems if only they would sign on the dotted line. You will get more sales across the line if you focus on the prospect and their needs first then worry about what your product can do for them later.

Giving price too early

Say you are going to buy a new PC, you have in mind that you want to buy a basic laptop that you can use to browse the internet, watch movies and do basic word-processing. The salesman at the electronic store instead quotes you on a workhorse desktop PC that will cost twice as much. The mistake was instead of asking you what you were after he made an assumption and quoted the price too early. When making your sales presentation make sure you uncover if they have a need for your service and justify it before price is ever mentioned. Only then will they be considering how, not if they can afford to use you.

Focusing on ourselves instead of helping the prospect

There is so much competition in the business world that sometimes we can be so focused on trying to sell sell sell that we forget that we provide solutions where there is a need for what we offer. If we are pushing to get everyone across the line even if they don’t need our services we are doing ourselves and our clients/prospects an injustice. Find out if your prospect has a need for your service, qualify them, then set about filling that need.

Hayden Burgess

Hayden Burgess  is a Programme Developer and Facilitator for Sales Impact Group.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, , , ,

Important changes to Simple Sales Tracking

New sales calendar view

As the release date approached for our first quarter release, we realized we were planning to release a lot of changes and improvements all at once. Instead, we’ve decided to split the release up into 2 or 3 parts. The first part was released last night.

The upcoming release will include the other changes we mentioned in our previous newsletter, including a revamped Start Page – with charts and more summary data.

Highlights of what’s been released in Part 1:

 

  • Increased File Storage – We’ve doubled the file size limits on uploads and increased overall storage from 200Mb to 1Gb. Soon we’ll be releasing an option for even greater storage.
  • Follow Up and Expected Close Dates – These are now included in the Calendar, Start Page Reminders and Appointments Report.
  • Additional Security Profile – We’ve created a new “Manager” security profile. Read more about this later in the email.
  • View combined calendars – Previously, you could only view one calendar at a time. Now, view a combined calendar of all users.
  • Choose Acocunt, Opportunity or Lead when entering a new Task or Appointment
  • Easily view associated Account, Opportunity or Lead when viewing a Task or Appointment
  • Increased space for your logo and have it display on login page.
  • Added search box for messages.
  • Revised organization of Admin page.
  • Easily lock-out a user from the Admin page.
  • And there’s more on the way…

 

New Manager Security Profile

In the past, each team would default to having a single Admin person. A lot of the time this worked fine, but occationally, there was a need for more flexibility.

In this latest release, we’ve given you the ability to create as many Admin or Manager users as you need.

The new Manager profile gives a user with that profile the ability to view any records, even if you’re operating in the Closed Model for security access. This was only possible previously if the user was an Admin.

Admin users are also by default made Managers, but they also retain access to the Admin area – whereas Managers do not.

 

 

 

 

Filed under: New Features, , ,

Major Release Scheduled For Early February 2015

We’re excited to announce the upcoming Q1 release of Simple Sales Tracking for early February 2015. Thank you for your questions and feedback – You’ve helped to make Simple Sales Tracking a sought after product that continues to push the boundaries of our industry and grow at an exponential rate.

A Few Highlights of What’s Planned:

 

  • Automatic Contact Info – Optionally, build and help keep your contact’s information up to date, with real-time social integration.
  • Zapier.Com Integration – Leverage your data and connect to 300+ 3rd party applications.
  • Increased Storage Capacity – We’re blowing the lid off of storage space. Get ready for a lot more document space.
  • Chart-based Reports – Get ready for visually stimulating chart-based reports.
  • Enhanced security configuration options
  • Associate multiple contacts with Leads
  • More branding customization options
  • Display Follow Up and Expected Close dates in Calendar
  • Visually catogorize appointments by type
  • And much more…

Filed under: Company News, New Features, , ,

About

Simple Sales Tracking is web-based sales CRM software for the tracking, analysis and forecasting of individual and team sales pipeline and contacts.

Built with simplicity at its core, focus is kept on key sales tasks, while eliminating unnecessary ones, helping to ensure buy-in of the entire sales team.
Go to SimpleSalesTracking.com

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